Definition of main verb in English:

main verb


  • 1The verb in a main clause.

    ‘An intermediate step is to put the ‘using’ clauses between the object and the main verb, like this.’
    • ‘Maybe Dickens needed a good sub-editor to remind him that the rules require sentences to contain proper main verbs.’
    • ‘This was ‘translated’ from German, as shown by the placement of the main verb at the end of the sentence.’
    • ‘Notice that verbs in three of the families may also stand alone and be the main verb of a sentence.’
    • ‘The nearer the main verb is to its subject, the easier the sentence is to understand.’
  • 2The head of a verb phrase, for example eat in might have been going to eat it.

    ‘The combination of helping verbs with main verbs creates what are called verb phrases or verb strings.’
    • ‘When writing the rule, always use the base form of the main verb and any auxiliary verbs.’
    • ‘It appears that the semi-modals are hybrid forms, combining characteristics of both main verbs and auxiliary verbs.’
    • ‘In the following examples, helping verbs are underlined and main verbs are shown in color’
    • ‘Find the helping verbs and the main verbs in the sentences.’


main verb

/mān vərb/ /meɪn vərb/